I'm sorry but I have more questions....(residency questions mainly)  

Page 1 / 2
 

MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 51
August 9, 2012 12:31 am  

First off, I wanted to say Thank you SOOO much for all of your posts on my last thread! Everyone was so helpful! However, I still have many questions. Here are a few of them:

1. We are moving to St. John in April of 2013. We intend on staying very long-term ... but for the first year we plan on keeping our main address in Florida. In other words, we don't intend on becoming bona-fide residents of the USVI right away. Does anyone have any objections to this? We figure that we should avoid going through the paperwork of becoming bona fide residents until we know for a fact that we can make a decent go of it in St. John.

2. If we stick to the above-mentioned plan & remain Florida residents, will we need to apply for USVI driver's licenses or can we drive on the island with our FL dl's?

3. Now that I think of it, will we have to be residents in order to register & insure our vehicle?

4. Does anyone know if mainland health insurance plans are accepted in the USVI or vice-versa?

Thank you for any input!

~Meagan

~Meagan


Quote
MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 51
August 9, 2012 12:35 am  

Oh!!! I almost forgot this one:

What will it cost me to call the USVI from the mainland (Florida)? I want so badly to call prospective employers and check on potential job opportunities. However, I'm afraid that this is going to cost me an arm & a leg. I'm going to attempt to contact most via Email. But I assume that most will react more favorably to phone interaction. All suggestions welcome!

Thank you sincerely!

~Meagan

~Meagan


ReplyQuote
cayennita
(@cayennita)
Advanced Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 47
August 9, 2012 2:03 am  

Sprint to Sprint is free. Cell calls are the same as in the states. It is not long distance. Check with your health plan for coverage here. The islands are American and it is all the same as stateside including mail. The big shock is electricity and some food items. If you reside in Florida and live in Georgia, you need a Georgia drivers license. Same here.

Antonio
Resident since April 1968


ReplyQuote
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 865
August 9, 2012 3:22 am  

2. If we stick to the above-mentioned plan & remain Florida residents, will we need to apply for USVI driver's licenses or can we drive on the island with our FL dl's?

No, you can still use your Florida license. You are techincally supposed to get a VI license within 3 months of living here, but I went 9 years with a Florida license before getting a VI license.

3. Now that I think of it, will we have to be residents in order to register & insure our vehicle?

No. I've bought and sold, registered and insured several vehicles over the past several years down here with a Florida license.

Some people have saidd that the police have given them a hard time if pulled over and showing a statside license. Maybe this is true, but I've never been pulled over so can't really comment.

As far as healthcare plans go, it depends. I had an individual plan with GoldenRule (United Health) when I was in grad school in the states. But I went back and forth several times a year from there to the VI, and they wouldn't cover normal or preventative care when in the VI. They would only cover major accidents, emergency care and prescriptions when in the VI (as if I was travelling). The address I used for it was a Florida address. I never had an accidents or problems so I never actually had to use it. Still, having some coverage may be better than none-if you're not getting coverage through work down here--there are no individual plans offered in the VI.


ReplyQuote
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2301
August 9, 2012 4:05 am  

For phone calls if you are not on a plan that gives you free long distance you can always buy a phone card - mine is ATT - and buy enough minutes fairly cheaply - I pay $44 for 2000 min.


ReplyQuote
gonetropo
(@gonetropo)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 427
August 9, 2012 10:07 am  

The issue regarding bona fide residency relates to a tax filing issue. There are specific rules regarding whether you are considered a bonafide resident or not which you can review in IRS Publication 901 and 54. It is our experience that it only becomes an issue as to where you file your tax returns. Based on our experience, if you meet the bona fide resident test, you will file with the IRB in ths Virgin Islands. If not, you will file with the IRS in the U.S. As long as you keep your address in Florida, you can file in the U.S. If you change your address to the USVI and are here for one uninterrupted period that includes the entire tax year, you file with the IRB.

Hint: Stay with the IRS as long as possible. It took us nearly 9 months to straighten this issue out with the IRB after arriving here and purchasing a residence. They did not have a clue about bona fide residency and even though we met all the tests, they wanted us to file in with the IRS. We finally ended up discussing the issue with the Tax Advocacy office of the IRS in Washington and they instructed us to file with the IRB!

If you are really concened about this, I would recommend that you contact the IRS or tax advisor in the USVI. .

As for the phone, we have ATT and have bacially unlimited calls to the U.S., Hawaii and Puerto Rico. 450 prime time minutes and 4500 anytime minutes. The minutes unused in one month accumulate to the next until you reach the end of the contract year, when it starts over. I beleive it is unlimited time if the call is made to another ATT cellphone. We pay $29.84 per month but it is under a group contract with my previous employer. It would probably be around $40 per month under a normal contact. The service has been great for 4 years.


ReplyQuote
TamiP
(@TamiP)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 82
August 9, 2012 10:17 am  

Oh!!! I almost forgot this one:

What will it cost me to call the USVI from the mainland (Florida)? I want so badly to call prospective employers and check on potential job opportunities. However, I'm afraid that this is going to cost me an arm & a leg. I'm going to attempt to contact most via Email. But I assume that most will react more favorably to phone interaction. All suggestions welcome!

Thank you sincerely!

~Meagan

T-Mobile is considering the VI as a local call if you have nationwide and Comcast is also letting me call for free to the VI. Then if all else fails there is always Skype....not 100% reliable but free.


ReplyQuote
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 470
August 9, 2012 12:02 pm  

Hi Meagan,

Some other options for the (land line) phone issue:
- Vonage is about $30/month.
- requires reasonable speed internet in your home (I'd be surprised if your internet was too slow)
- quite possible that your current phone number could transfer to Vonage
- unlimited, no additional cost, calls to USVI (and much of the rest of the world)
- folks in USVI might not want to call you back (your Florida Vonage number would be long distance for them), so for another $5/month you can get a "virtual" phone number that would be a local USVI number (ie, someone in USVI calls this local USVI number and your phone rings at home)
- only potential problem with Vonage vs normal land line is that you can't FAX with Vonage (Although you pay an additional monthly fee for this service). Of course most businesses have email, so is FAX really needed?


ReplyQuote
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1246
August 9, 2012 12:17 pm  

1. We are moving to St. John in April of 2013. We intend on staying very long-term ... but for the first year we plan on keeping our main address in Florida. In other words, we don't intend on becoming bona-fide residents of the USVI right away. Does anyone have any objections to this? ...

2. If we stick to the above-mentioned plan & remain Florida residents, will we need to apply for USVI driver's licenses or can we drive on the island with our FL dl's?

On St Thomas they do fairly regular stings where the police stop people and, if they obviously are not tourists, give them a ticket for not having a local license. If you get caught twice you would be very unwise not to get a USVI license. They don't do that on St. John, but if you do get stopped for any reason you might get a ticket for it.

As someone else said, you are a resident after 90 days and for tax reasons are legally required to make it official. That said, plenty of people do what you are suggesting. But it is a legal gray area at best. If you are not going back and forth to your FL address, then the VI is your primary residence. You should be paying taxes here -- keep in mind, if you get jobs here, you'll get W-2s that obviously do not say Florida, and that goes to the IRS. If you are ever audited, you'll have some explaining to do about how you managed to live in one place and earn all your money a few hundred miles away.

3. Now that I think of it, will we have to be residents in order to register & insure our vehicle?

You don't have to be a resident to do that.

4. Does anyone know if mainland health insurance plans are accepted in the USVI or vice-versa?

After 90 days, assuming you have not returned to your FL address, you will be committing insurance fraud if you use a U.S. insurance plan here. Insurance companies are cracking down pretty hard on anything that smells funny so they don't have to pay for it. Again, this is not to say people don't do this -- they do, especially because private health insurance is nearly impossible to buy down here. But god forbid you get cancer and discover your plan won't pay because you lied about where you really live. (It has happened.) In the very very worst case, this could happen AND you'd find yourself being sued and/or prosecuted for fraud.

Bottom line -- you can do what you are suggesting, and it might turn out fine, but be aware of the risks.


ReplyQuote
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1246
August 9, 2012 12:19 pm  

What will it cost me to call the USVI from the mainland (Florida)? I want so badly to call prospective employers and check on potential job opportunities. However, I'm afraid that this is going to cost me an arm & a leg. I'm going to attempt to contact most via Email. But I assume that most will react more favorably to phone interaction. All suggestions welcome!

If you have a cell phone with free interstate long-distance, it won't cost you a thing. Check with your provider to make sure.

Don't be surprised if most employers don't react favorably to any communication from off island. It's not personal; it's just that a lot of statesiders have come and gone before you.


ReplyQuote
MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 51
August 9, 2012 3:10 pm  

Thank you all for the answers to these questions! You have been so helpful!!!

Bottom line -- you can do what you are suggesting, and it might turn out fine, but be aware of the risks.

And FDR: I appreciate your input! My husband and I are Christians and are honest in all things so we will be sure to abide by the laws. This was my reason in asking. I've never lived anywhere besides Florida & I'm completely new to this 'relocating' thing. We are doing our best to figure out exactly what needs to be done to keep us straight.~Slightly Overwhelming! :S

Thanks again!

~Meagan

~Meagan


ReplyQuote
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1246
August 9, 2012 5:28 pm  

This is one more reason to do a good PMV. You will meet all kinds of people here, and many come down running from something. Others just don't like being told what to do on principle. So "abide by the laws" is definitely not everyone's attitude. Enjoy your time here, and let us know how it goes!


ReplyQuote
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 865
August 9, 2012 7:47 pm  

I just want to clarify my previous statement about health insurance--I wasn't being dishonest--I genuinely was going back and forth (fieldwork here, classroom and lab work in the states) for school. And now I'm on STX full-time, I have insurance through my job and dropped the other policy.

And not everyone who doesn't get a VI license immediately is dishonest either. I never had a problem using it and never got aorund to getting a VI license until last year. Maybe if I had been pulled over and gotten a ticket I would have gotten one.


ReplyQuote
MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 51
August 9, 2012 8:07 pm  

I just want to clarify my previous statement about health insurance--I wasn't being dishonest--I genuinely was going back and forth (fieldwork here, classroom and lab work in the states) for school. And now I'm on STX full-time, I have insurance through my job and dropped the other policy.

And not everyone who doesn't get a VI license immediately is dishonest either. I never had a problem using it and never got aorund to getting a VI license until last year. Maybe if I had been pulled over and gotten a ticket I would have gotten one.

I didn't take it that way at all! 🙂 Everyone's situation differs greatly. I only brought it up because I was afraid people were going to think I was trying to find ways around certain laws/guidelines. I just wanna know what i need to do to make this move happen!!! I can't wait for it!

~Meagan


ReplyQuote
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1017
August 9, 2012 8:17 pm  

What is the big deal about not wanting to give up your state-side driving license & replace it with a US Virgin Islands one? Just wondering.


ReplyQuote
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3920
August 9, 2012 9:15 pm  

Vi law says that, after living here for 90 days you must surrender your stateside license and get your VI license.


ReplyQuote
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1017
August 9, 2012 9:45 pm  

There is a big difference between 90 days and 9 years. And others who keep them even longer. Or commit fraud by having a state-side DL & USVI DL. Just doesn't make sense to me. Do you want to be a USVI bonafide resident or not?


ReplyQuote
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 842
August 9, 2012 10:13 pm  

Megan, Take the tax and residency advice given on this forum with grain salt and a pile of sugar. For facts check with your CPA or tax professional. As I understand it, your return is filed using your perminate address. I don't think US citzens have to "visit" their perminate stateside address every 90 days to keep it as an active legimate perminate address. Where did all this 90 day stuff come from? If you change your preminate address then you'll need to change your DL, Voter registration, and file taxes with your new address. Most folks find that filing under a usvi adress is better deal tax wise. quite a few folks commit fraud by falsely stating their perminate address is USVI when they and their families actually live state side.

"Bonfied Resident" is highly subjective term. In fact there are few foreign nationals on island who pretend to be usvi residents / us residents. If the goal is to establish residency for voting or schooling or whatever, then change your DL, switch your voter registration, and file your taxes under your new VI address. Establishing residency to be socially accepted is another thing. Most folks will care more about what kind of person you are and how you treat them--broadcasting your residency status isn't going to gain you any friends. From your posts you seem like a very sweet and hard working young lady. You'll fit in just fine.

That being said....voting and paying taxes is the best way to contribute.


ReplyQuote
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1017
August 9, 2012 10:44 pm  

* bo·na fide - Adjective - Genuine; real.
Adverb -Sincerely; without intention to deceive: "the court will assume that they have acted bona fide".
Synonyms"adjective".  true - genuine - real - honest - authentic
"adverb".  in good faith*

I was using the word bona fide just as an adjective. Not as the whole term "Bona fide resident". My mistake.
I should have worded the question differently.

It still goes back to my original question, why don't people like surrending their State-side DL & replace it with a USVI DL? Is it a sentimental thing or what?


ReplyQuote
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 842
August 9, 2012 11:01 pm  

Lazy? aka Island Time?
Allot of folks with strong party affliations want to vote for president.


ReplyQuote
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 865
August 10, 2012 12:19 am  

It still goes back to my original question, why don't people like surrending their State-side DL & replace it with a USVI DL? Is it a sentimental thing or what?

I never got around to it (yeah, island time). It was never a big deal--the car insurance, registration people never blinked an eye. Not having a VI license did not affect my life in any way, so it wasn't really a priority. And for a few years, I was going back and forth for graduate school.


ReplyQuote
VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 551
August 10, 2012 3:01 am  

My reason is certainly more "island time." Though I am starting to feel a little silly when I open my wallet to get out my Scotiabank card to pay for groceries and there's my FLDL right there for all to see. And I am also thinking about making the BF get a 340 phone number (he just left his cell phone behind, we use mine for everything -- would be loverly if he were to get his OWN cell phone!!) At first, I thought it would be better to still have a stateside driver's liscence since a VI lisc isn't accepted as valid in the States. BUT, Kerry tells me that I drive like a Chinese grandmother, so I am not too likely to get pulled over by ANY cops...

I do, however, file my taxes with the IRB. I know someone who has been on island for 9+ years and has been filing his with the IRS. I don't know how he gets away with that! I'll vote when I am better informed and can make an intelligent decision.

I misspelled "lovely" on purpose, but I have no idea how to spell that other "L" word! 🙂 Stupid spellcheck is still not working!!


ReplyQuote
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2301
August 10, 2012 4:05 am  

For tax purposes I have always understood that 180 days in a calendar year is needed to establish a tax domicile - I am not a CPA and suggest you confer with one about any tax question.


ReplyQuote
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1017
August 10, 2012 4:19 am  

My reason is certainly more "island time." Though I am starting to feel a little silly when I open my wallet to get out my Scotiabank card to pay for groceries and there's my FLDL right there for all to see. And I am also thinking about making the BF get a 340 phone number (he just left his cell phone behind, we use mine for everything -- would be loverly if he were to get his OWN cell phone!!) At first, I thought it would be better to still have a stateside driver's liscence since a VI lisc isn't accepted as valid in the States. BUT, Kerry tells me that I drive like a Chinese grandmother, so I am not too likely to get pulled over by ANY cops...

I do, however, file my taxes with the IRB. I know someone who has been on island for 9+ years and has been filing his with the IRS. I don't know how he gets away with that! I'll vote when I am better informed and can make an in
telligent decision.

I misspelled "lovely" on purpose, but I have no idea how to spell that other "L" word! 🙂 Stupid spellcheck is still not working!!

I didn't know USVI DL isn't a valid/accepted DL in the states. How so???? I was able to use it in the states.

The other "L" word went right over my head. I'm still trying to figure it out...lol

Lazy, Island Time, Procrastinator, whatever anyone's reason. It's not my business. I withdraw my question.


ReplyQuote
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 842
August 10, 2012 4:32 am  

A USVI DL valid for driving state side. Valid as goverment issued Id for air travel. Valid at the stateside bank for cashing checks. Valid for renting a car statesdie. Who told you it's not walid? In what way.? Honey you were sold a bag of atale bread. If you gave up your statside address and residence, then you probably should change, just all your address match on legal documents. If you still mantain a physicall address then a matter of choice.

Good question. just thought of another reason....statesider actually get tax refunds.


ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2
Settlers Handbook

Thinking about moving to the Virgin Islands?

The Settler's Handbook is a Indispensable Guide

The current 18th Edition, will help you explore your dream of island living. A solid reference book, it was first published in 1975. That's 40 years of helping people move to the Virgin Islands.

Order Today $17.95
Close Menu

Please Login or Register